Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category

[Power of the Church] Power of the Government

Posted by Lex Fear on October 25, 2009

I’ve discussed before on this blog, what the differences are between America Churchianity and British Churchianity. I can’t think of a better example of why separation of church and state is a good thing, a thing invented by Christians than this little gem by the perspicacious Martin Turner:

“Richard Dawkins’s followers will no doubt be quick to claim this is another example of the heinous effect of ‘the God delusion’. But they would be wrong. Under charity law, the Church of England has to diligently pursue all of its debtors, and, coupled with the laws on ‘chancel repair liability’ which date back to Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535, they have no choice.

<snip>

What lunatic changed the law in that way? (You know the answer to this one, but, in case you don’t, the legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.)

Since the Church of England is powerless to extricate itself from a situation which bankrupts ordinary people and brings the church, and thus the entire Christian faith, into disrepute, the government ought to have intervened to simply cancel chancel liability. This would free the Church of England to pursue grants and even Lottery money. This is in fact what the Law Commission and the Church of England Synod recommended in the 1980s.”

At the time when this hit the headlines I was not aware of these facts. I’m glad I reserved my judgement.

Advertisements

Posted in Apologetics, Churchianity, Fact Erosion, Morals & Ethics, Property Market, Quoteyness, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Whodunnit Pt. 2] Let Him Have It…

Posted by Lex Fear on June 10, 2009

Back in February I had a long comment discussion with an atheist called Postsimian which started on a post at The Friendly Atheist, but went off topic so I brought it here.

Whilst not intended, this makes an excellent follow-up to that post – Killing In The Name Of…

The gist of the discussion was one of hermeneutics. Postsimian argued that ‘if’ there was a God, he was evil, because of the certain events and commands given by God in the Old Testament, taken literally. My argument was that, as well as the need for proper exegetical context, there is a need for a greater perspective on what is written in the OT, which relies heavily on if we deem the events real or made-up.

The crux of the matter was whether God, assumedly being good, could be capable of evil – i.e. killing seemingly innocent people. Postsimians study of the OT led him to conclude that even if God is good, he is capable of evil, whereas my study of the bible leads me to conclude that certain acts of God which seem wrong on the face of it, are not when understood in context.

It later occured to me that this argument is demonstrated aptly in a film I watched years ago based on the true story of Derek Bentley called Let Him Have It. The premise of the film is of a robbery which goes disasterously wrong. During the attempted arrest, brain-damaged Bentley yells out to his younger accomplice “Let him have it” – referring to the gun, and subsequently his accomplice, Christopher Craig, shoots the policeman. For those not in the know, “Let him have it” used to be a turn of phrase in the UK for giving the go-ahead to attack someone. The question is: Did Bentley order Craig to hand over the gun, or fire it at the copper?

The real-life case, in actual fact, did not hinge upon these words, but it does prove useful for this exercise. For the police, by yelling “let him have it” Bentley was giving the order to shoot, and was therefore intending evil, and rightly deserved the death penalty. For the defence, Bentley was ordering Craig to hand over the gun and surrender.

The fact is, without any supporting evidence apart from the reading of Bentleys words, your view of Bentleys guilt will be based on your own preconceptions and bias. If you were not British and raised in the time of the 50’s you may well think that Bentley ordered Craig to surrender. However, if you were around at the time, you may have thought differently.

By now you know what I’m getting at. This is nearly the same problem when it comes to reading biblical texts literally. No, God is not going around in the OT ordering people to shoot other people, but there are times when he has commanded specific instructions and left it for his people to interpret and then act, or intercede.

More and more, it seems to me that what is not written in the OT scriptures, is more important than what is actually written.

In the end, Postsimian may be right after all about one thing, in some cases it seems like it is a mere subtle nuance. However, I must counterbalance this with the truth that in every instance of the OT where God orders the destruction of human life, as the law required (just like the American justice system), when people either interceded or pleaded for mercy, they were shown mercy.

This is why if you are going to honestly critique the Old Testament, you cannot read it literally. You need to be prepared to study a bit of history and culture at the same time. It is also why I feel I cannot emphasise enough, that God is not looking for people to carry out judgement (under the law), but instead he is looking for people to intercede and carry out mercy and forgiveness (when the law has been broken).

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Apologetics, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Xianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Soul Searching] Vapours

Posted by Lex Fear on May 25, 2009

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.

I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.

What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.

I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.

The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.

Solomon, Ecclesiastes

A while ago I was discussing politics and the recession with a friend. I was doing what I considered my dutiful task of informing him of how all the decisions of Gordon Brown, since ZaNuLabour rose to power 12 years ago, have led to the bubble in house prices and the subsequent eonomic collapse. But my friend then asked a pertinent question which caused me to consider my very purpose.

If the Conservatives had been in power, would things have been different?

And the very truthful answer to that is, No.

It’s not just a political thing, it’s not just that ZaNuLabour stole Tory policies. It’s the old cliche that absolute power corrupts absolutely – greed, extravagance, gluttony, apathy,  envy, pride and anger. What have we not seen in recent days? There are very few people – and politicians are people – who did not fall into the trap of thinking the good times were never going to end. Everyone was happy to turn a blind eye to the injustices, to the corruption, the expense claims whilst the money kept rolling and the price of their house kept rising.

What would have been different? Nothing. And it’s this answer which has formulated my cynicism and means I will never have absolute faith in politics.

That’s not to say I don’t believe there are individuals who appear at times who see all this and really do want to change the system, but all too often they either fall to the dark side, or they find themselves being chewed up and spat out by a great machine which is fueled by the ignorance of man.

You think our politicians have learned from this boom and bust? You think things will be difference because they are putting rules in place to stop it happening again? Let me tell you that most of them don’t even know how to prevent it, or don’t really care, and of those rules they do make… they will be ignored by future generations just as we have ignored the rules and the lessons of the past.

So why bother even blogging about this, why bother discussing it? The most reward that any of us can get is the option to say “I told you so”, because we all lose. The truth about teamwork is that the team moves forward at the pace of it’s slowest member, and the same is true of humanity. For all our scientific innovations and discoveries, we cannot solve the problem sin. When I use this word, sin, I refer to human failings, things which are inherent in our nature which cause evil – deceit, selfishness, murder, greed, sexual desires, war… but instead of acknowledging these we redefine them. (The idea that someone would have sexual relations with a 10 year old disgusts us and strikes us as immoral, but the boundaries of sexual morality are being increasingly eroded. As adults fight for more sexual freedoms there is nothing to stop this becoming socially acceptible – all that’s needed is to redefine what constitutes being an adult. For instance at 10 years old in England, you can already be tried for a crime as an adult – why can’t you be considered sexually aware?)

But I digress. I have questioned why I should rail against something which cannot and will not be stopped as long as there is an unsanctified human race. A human race of which 1/3 does not even acknowledge God’s existance let alone as Lord. (And of those that do acknowledge and worship God, how many of them are truly taking a stand against corruption and not partaking in it?)

The truth is, I have lost the drive to blog about politics and world affairs, to question the system. I still hold strong political beliefs but since there is no longer any difference between man and pig, I no longer see a purpose in it.

Instead, I’ve taken some time to reflect on blogging, and I am going to go back to my roots in blogging about Christianity and experience – that means I’m still going to post the odd consumer post but I see my primary purpose in apologetics.

It may be something to do with having made my peace with the church.. or at least the church I now attend. It may be something to do with reading and listening to the arguments of atheists more.. which provides me a source of great mirth and sometimes deep thought.

Of course my co-author Hudson has a lot to say about politics and anyone else can be free to join and write for AaF about these topics, but I have said enough, and will now focus on something which is close to my heart.. and I guess, in that way, I’m being true to the subjects I’ve always posted on.. those that are important issues for me.

Posted in Absolute Power, Anecdotes, Apologetics, Bollotics, Financial Terrorism, Metablog, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Whodunnit] Killing In The Name Of…

Posted by Lex Fear on February 26, 2009

I have been debating an atheist called postsimian over at The Friendly Atheist but it’s getting far too long and off topic now so I’ve decided to post a response back here.

I said I’d respond if PS persuaded me of his/her arguments and after reading his/her last response there are a couple of things I do have to concede. Yep shock horror.

If you want to follow the debate from the beginning, head over and read the comments on Hermant’s post: Foxhole Atheist Jeremy Hall Tells His Story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apologetics, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

[Atheism] Probably

Posted by Lex Fear on February 15, 2009

I was really happy to see the atheist bus campaign get into full swing. God Bless those atheists, another medium for which they can use to rage against their parents.

I have purposefully held off from writing about it until now, after the dust has settled and things can be fully absorbed.

I’ll start by saying I also found myself disappointed by the weakness of the message. I would much preferred something more assertive, more disdainful of religion. Instead we get probably.

Funnily enough all sorts of speculation took place in the atheist blogosphere and fora as to why include the word. There were some rather feeble apologetics using such idioms as “intellectually honest”.

Since I had followed this saga from it’s inception and was following the commentary at The Friendly Atheist I thought I should help bring clarity to the perception of the ‘Christian response’ as well as information as to how probably got in there:

1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

Must try harder.

Which was quickly refuted by a commenter called Aj:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

He went on to include a quote from Ariane Sherine (from a later article).

There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t).

Oh dear, how intellectually dishonest. He left me no choice but to quote the original article by Sherine in response:

“After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

And the Carlsberg Ad:

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

“According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source.

Oddly, no-one then seemed interesting in arguing the point with me and just ignored my second comment completely. Not what you would expect from intellectually honest people but there you go.

Here’s a great quote from Lib Dem MP, Martin Turner:

Imagine that you saw any of the following advertisements:
“The speed camera probably isn’t loaded”
“You probably won’t die in a car crash”
“You probably did turn off the gas”
Telling someone that something probably won’t happen doesn’t stop them worrying about it. Quite the contrary. And, if the millions of lottery ticket buyers are anything to go by, telling someone that something they very much hope for is unlikely to happen does nothing to stop them hoping.
If “there’s probably no God” is the strongest statement that, on reflection, atheists dare to make in public, then they have moved a long way from the certainties implied in their name.

But my favourite quote on worry has to this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Jesus

As well as beating The Grauniad to the post by almost 2000 years, there’s something rather more elegant, meaningful and poetic than “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, don’t you think (if you are being intellectually honest)?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Apologetics, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Propaganda, Quoteyness, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Bugaboos] 20 Reasons To Abandon Christianity… And Every Reason To Take It Up Again

Posted by Lex Fear on January 25, 2009

From Pass_the_Aura – 20 Reasons to Abandon a Bugaboo:

6. Christianity breeds authoritarianism. … If your nonintrusive beliefs or actions are not in accord with Christian “morality,” you can bet that Christians will feel completely justified—not to mention righteous—in poking their noses (often in the form of state police agencies) into your private life.

  • But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25–28 NKJV)
  • [Jesus speaking] “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37 NIV)
  • “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” (Romans 2:1 ESV)

I’m coming to the same realisation that many people reject God based on characterisation are not actually rejecting the God described in the bible, or the God I have come to know and love.

Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family. – Proverbs (Message)

If you hate these things, you and God may have a lot more in common than you think.

Last year Pass_the_Aura did an excellent YouTube response to all the atheists who thought they were committing the ultimate unforgivable sin, see my post here:

Absolutely Unforgiveable?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted in Apologetics, Blogidarity, Laymans Theology, Quoteyness | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Comment Sharing] The Wrath of God

Posted by Lex Fear on November 13, 2008

Over at The County Shrink, a heartfelt response to a reluctant atheist:

Believe it or not, I at one time, was in a similar position. You have a
lot of questions about Christianity. So did I. And we are not alone.
All believers have doubts at times. In fact, I think doubt is a
necessary part of faith. It wouldn’t be called faith, if there was no
doubt.

Reluctant atheist Nick, left a further comment below the post:

I badly want to throw the towel in, and believe again. but i can’t accept the unmerciful side of God.

I didn’t want to risk an online debate particularly because it’s my first comment at TCS but I felt compelled to make a respond with the following (now I just wish I could find the motivation to write my own blog posts):

For me, doubt has been an essential component of my faith. It has been doubt that has steered me to believe.

Each time I question the bible, God, events or my experience, I find simple reasons to walk away from it all.. which is a problem for me, it’s too simple. Christianity is complex and causes a serious enquirer such as myself to think. On the other hand, as an atheist (11 years ago) I never really had much to consider.

There are places in the bible where God intervenes which makes him appear unmerciful, angry even. Once again this indicates that God is a rational being, not just a one-dimensional character-piece in a made up religion.

Nick, I can see you are wrestling with some deep-seated theological questions. May I suggest you read CS Lewis – The Problem of Pain. Also I find the bible itself lends a hand when it comes to understanding Gods mercy – Romans 9:22.

In the UK here we have just had a horrific case of child abuse that has hit the headlines. If we accept that God can see the future and destinies of all people, would it be fair for God to intervene before the abuse happened (eg. prevented the child from being born in order to spare it). For God to then strike down the adults involved before the child was born, punish them before society was even aware of their evil nature?

Perhaps, and we can’t say for certain whether this is already happening since we only have the benefit of hindsight and not the ability to predict destinies.

However, the very existence of evil in this world is an indication of Gods patience and mercy. If one examines the old testament, one sees that when God planned to wipe out a city or a tribe, he always revealed his plans to his prophets first, or he would make his people agents in the destruction. Since God is God, and can destroy as easily as bring to life, why would he approach his people beforehand, or even request they carry out these actions?

Perhaps it is easier to frame it in terms of modern law. Say I was caught speeding, but when I was pulled over the officer can see I have my pregnant wife in the car who is in labour and needs to get to the hospital. What police officer will hold me up, read out my rights and issue me with a ticket whilst my wifes contractions get shorter and shorter in the seat next to me.

I have broken traffic law by speeding, for sure, but any reasonable police officer is going to make a decision to allow the law-break in this instance. Even if some jobsworth officer still decides to issue a ticket.. it’s likely a judge would cancel it on appeal – despite the law, as set by government, being broken.

Laws make society work, but they are never meant to be nor should be used to totalitarian effect. A government that becomes totalitarian in application of its laws will lose the support of its people and risk uprising or rebellion.

In the same way, God made laws for his people, and offered them the choice to live by them or not. When they chose to live by them, and signed the contract, then the law had to be obeyed. But God, rather than simply enforce the law with impunity, instead entrusted the enforcement to his people, continually involving them in his plans to carry out the actions and punishment related to the laws being broken.

So again we must ask, why would God approach prophets before carrying out punishment; Why does the government employ judges to effect it’s laws (considering where the concept of ‘judges’ was taken from)?

My belief is this: God was not looking for people to carry out his wrath, he was looking for intercessors, perhaps even people to debate with him and refuse to carry out said wrath.

How would we know mercy, if there were no laws, no righteousness or ultimate authority to ensure they were carried out.

And how would God reveal his mercy without giving power to judge and carry out punishment, to his creation?

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Apologetics, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, The Purpose Missing Church | Leave a Comment »

[Acts of God] Hearts and Minds

Posted by Lex Fear on September 25, 2008

Two pieces of good news today which gives me pause for thought… Filesharer Jammie Thomas has been granted a retrial by the judge who sentenced her last year.

“Minnesota Federal beak Michael Davis said he had given an incorrect instruction to the jury on the level of proof required by the Recording Industry Ass. of America. He had told jurors last year that the act of “making [music files] available” via a peer to peer network was sufficient to prove unauthorised distribution of copyright material without evidence that others had downloaded the files.”

<snip>

Although he wasn’t considering the fine levied against Thomas in the original trial, in his judgment Davis said Congress should re-examine the law on copyright infringement, calling it “wholly disproportionate”. “Her alleged acts were illegal, but common. Her status as a consumer who was not seeking to harm her competitors or make a profit does not excuse her behavior. But it does make the award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages unprecedented and oppressive,” he wrote.” – RIAA filesharing target Jammie Thomas wins retrial – El Reg

The second bit of good news, however it comes with a twist, is the European Parliament have wisely thrown out the “Three-Strikes” law when it comes to copyright infringement.

“The amendment, drafted by Guy Bono and other members of the European Parliament, was adopted by an overwhelming majority. 573 parliament members voted in favor while only 74 rejected. Satisfied with this outcome, Bono stated in a response to the vote: “You do not play with individual freedoms like that,” and said that the French government should review its three-strikes law.” – European Parliament Says No to Three-Strikes Law – TorrentFreak

Could this be a possible turning point in history, are our leaders finally coming round to the 21st Century and understanding of technology and innovation?

I’ve always believed in a God that is involved with life on earth in both a grand and intimate scale. I don’t believe God sends earthquakes and tornadoes in order to bring punishment to any region, I don’t believe he speaks and commands suicide bombers or terrorists to fly into buildings, but I do believe he is intimately involved in human affairs to bring about creativity and invention, justice and mercy.

I believe in a creative God, a God who fashioned humans in his image – that means we got his characteristic creativity as well. It is on display everywhere we look; invention, design, industry and the arts. Creation is in us and is a part of our human identity. I also believe, in a broader sense, that Jesus was and is a file sharer.

Jesus’ primary goal was to get the good news out. He didn’t care much for any authority that stood in the way, and he certainly didn’t issue copyright disclaimers on his stories or words. If he had, we might never had heard of the carpenter from Galilee. If Jesus was physically walking the earth today, I believe that he would be utilizing p2p networks to share all sorts of Christian media – words, songs and movies. The RIAA would probably play the part of the Romans (on behalf of copyright owners such as Hillsong) and do their bit to crucify him for this, of course.

The point is, BitTorrent is a creative invention. It is a great invention for spreading information more quickly and efficiently than any other source on the tubes. I believe God has had a hand in human invention from the beginning, gifting us with ideas and intellect, and I believe he has his hand in technology even today.

They burned the first man to translate the Bible into English in an attempt to supress the free sharing of this valuable information with the common people. How quickly they forgot that sharing of information and communion is at the core of the Christian message, and how lost are we now that the church employs the very same techniques as the world to ‘protect’ it’s ‘intellectual property’? The church has forgotten the words of the psalmist in Psalm 24:1.

So although many on both sides may disagree with me for different reasons, I believe that God has had his hand on proceedings in both of these cases today. I believe God wants us to have an open and free society more than anyone can realise or imagine. He doesn’t have to place the literal ideas in our head, or force our hands to work, he has already created the desire, the passion and the spirit, this is all that is needed for justice and creativity to prevail.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Apologetics, Copywrong, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Opinion, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church | 1 Comment »

[Dumbing Down] BBC, Try Harder…

Posted by Lex Fear on September 9, 2008

Just near the end of watching the BBC “documentary” Who Killed Jesus?

I thought the BBC were against conspiraloonacy, but it seems that they fully embrace it when it suits!

This time they’re trying to push the theory that the gospel writers made up the part about the crowd saying “let his blood be upon us, and on our children”, to exonerate Pontius Pilate and stir up anti-semitism.

What a crock of sh*t, seriously! The gospel writers take great pains to document sick being healed, dead people rising from the grave, demons cast out, the resurrection itself? Yet the BBC choose to focus on the bit about Pontius Pilate, because, y’know all that other stuff is pretty believable but the Romans not responsible for Jesus death? – I don’t believe it!

For the record, I don’t think Pontius Pilate exonerated himself, but the problem here is with language used. You see, the majority of people in 1st Century Palestine, apart from the ruling Roman authorities, just so happened to be Jewish, because, Oh I don’t know, that’s where they’d been settled for at least 400 years?

So when the crowds are screaming for Jesus to be executed, unfortunately, most of that crowd are going to be Jews. Just as most of the people sitting in on an execution in Texas are going to be Americans.

But just as many Americans oppose the death penalty, guess what, many Jews at the time would have been opposed or even uninterested in the execution of Jesus.

Here’s the other part of the story that was missed (of course, we’re assuming that you’re happy with the rest of the New Testament, since you’re only questioning a few lines in the book of Matthew). Jesus was a Jew! Yes, way! Not only that, the 12 disciples were Jews! I kid you not!

In fact, at the time many of those disciples originally assumed that Jesus had come only for the Jews, they refused to sit and eat with gentiles! It was only due to Paul (aka Saul), who came along later and instructed the early church that they must also accept gentiles and treat them equally.

Paul himself testified that he came first for the Jews, then for the gentiles.

So BBC, well done for releasing a documentary that not only propogates a half-assed conspiracy theory, but one that is factually incorrect and attempts to spread FUD about anti-semitism in the founding of Christianity.

How can Jews be anti-semetic? Ask the BBC, they seem to know!

Interesting Fact: The last docu-drama the BBC put out about Jesus apparently went some way to exonerate Pontius Pilate of Jesus’ execution. Schizophrenic production team, or attempt at non-bias? You decide.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Apologetics, Dark Side of the Light, Opinion, Pharisees, Propaganda, Uncircumcised Philistines | 4 Comments »

[Christiania] Church Mafia

Posted by Lex Fear on September 6, 2008

Excellent article over at Stuff Christians Like about the church mafia:

The Elderati
Background:
Although they would never admit this, the Elderati is the strongest of the ruling families. Their influence is not often direct and visible, but is instead quietly woven into almost every decision the church makes. Once you make it into the Elderati, you can never really leave. For although your official “term” might end after a year or two, you will constantly be called into conversations and decisions long after you actually attend an Elder’s meeting. It’s rumored that they all have a small letter “E” tattooed on their ankle. But since members of the Elderati never wear shorts, it’s impossible to prove.
Also known as: “The only people the pastor fears.”
Nemesis: The Deaconistas
Signature sentence: “Have you cleared that with the Elders?”

Anyone who’s ever been heavily involved in or shunted from a church ministry at one time should find something to laugh at, and something to think about from this.

I’ve touched on the subject before in the past, in a blog post entitled Successful Christian Leadership. Back then I came from a more personal, more bitter angle but the great thing about SCL is it can teach us really to laugh at those wooden idols that the church sets up for itself.

, , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Apologetics, Dark Side of the Light, Pharisees, The Purpose Missing Church | Leave a Comment »